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What is a data lake?

When it comes to cloud computing, the terms we use are almost as important as the data we store and analyze. Companies that communicate about how cloud computing data is stored, retrieved, accessed and archived tend to maximize the use of that data. This leads to better products, higher revenue for the company, and more growth. More than anything, it leads to better communication between business units, the Information Technology department, and even the front office, sales, marketing, customers and business partners.

One of the terms that came into wide use over the last few years is a data lake. Before the rise of cloud computing, and even before the Internet was widely used as a means of transmitting data, cloud computing experts used the term data warehouse, but it wasn’t quite sufficient. A data warehouse, as the name implies because of how a “warehouse” is highly organized, consists of data that a company processes, analyzes, and reuses as part of its cloud storage management. For a retailer, a data warehouse might contain all of the product information, SKUs (stock keeping unit), and prices. A data warehouse is typically optimized for a fast, reliable access.

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